Dextrose to the Rescue

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again, image via Karen @ bittersweetdiabetes.com

D-Blog week Post #2 “One Great Thing”

Today we have been asked to write about one thing that we do great in relation to diabetes; kind of a “toot your own horn” kind of post, which sounds good to me.

The first thing that popped into my head is that I do well at getting exercise (aka sweatabetes) in each day (unless it’s my two 12 hour days at work; I count the many steps I take as my workout on those days). However; I wanted to mix it up and skip the exercise convo today. I’m going to talk about how fabulous I am at carrying a sugar source in case of lows! I have got dextrose tabs floating around all over the place: my nightstand, my purse, my car, my bra when I run Surprised smile etc.

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Aren’t you glad I didn’t show a shot of them in my bra while running? That would have been slightly scandalous….and sweaty (alliteration much?).

I think I am the most well stocked with dextrose tabs that I have ever been (due to a recent trip to Costco). The tabs are sooo much cheaper at Costco! I tend to use them not only when I am low, but also prophylactically (ahead of time, to prevent a low; such as during or before a workout). A girl can only drink so much juice in her lifetime, and my ability to down another juice box left me over a year ago.

Here’s to me and my incredible, “compliance” when it comes to carrying a source of glucose for lows! Rolling on the floor laughing

Have any of you found a great alternative for treating lows that does not involve glucose tablets or juice?

Diabetes Blog Week Virgin

image via Karen @ bittersweetdiabetes.com

Here I am, taking part in my first Diabetes Blog Week. Over the past few years I have gleaned tons of info from blogs written by other diabetics. It is so nice to read a fellow diabetic’s blog and subsequently experience moments of “I totally get that” and “OMG me too!”

The plan is that I will post a diabetes related blog each day this week (so if you aren’t down with my diabetes-related posts, you may want to take a week-long vacation from Sweetest Motivation). This first post is the “Find a Friend” Post, where we are to write about a d-blog (diabetes blog) that we read. Here goes:

To tell the truth, I am just now branching out in my diabetes blog reading. I started out reading mostly sixuntilme.com, which I love! I am overwhelmed by the amount of amazing d-blogs I have been discovering.

I chose to focus on www.canadiandgal.blogspot.ca AKA Canadian D-gal.

Firstly, the blogger, Scully, is a Canadian. I found this intriguing because I have searched and searched for Canadian D-blogs and they seem few and far between. I thought I was a Google mastermind, but apparently not. Please, fill me in if any of you know of any other Canadian D-blogs!

Scully loves exercise, and it is a common thread in many of her posts; Especially in terms of cycling. I’m drawn to the blog because of the emphasis on physical activity, since I too share the interest.

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Future Medtronic “Look I Can Exercise Despite Diabetes” ad campaign?

I am more of a semi-runner/free weight kind of gal but I find cycling interesting. My fiancé just began biking to work (20 some km). He is using a mountain bike and we both think a road bike may be in his future for efficiency’s sake.

I also feel like I can relate to her (Scully’s) diabetes ups and downs. The crazy lows, the annoying highs. I get it. It’s just so nice to know that it’s not only me who finds the diabetes/workout combo DIFFICULT. Do I need a temp basal of 40 or 50%, should I bolus, should I not bolus? Should I just skip the workout today because nothing seems to be going my way in blood sugar land? I think the occasional F-bomb dropped by Scully emphasizes how I sometimes feel. Sigh… it’s a constant battle.

I gotta say, it’s nice to see a few bg readings in the ol’ mmol/l form too. I think I need to suck it up and wrap my head around the mg/dl form. I’m getting better at it!

Bottom-line—> I think it’s a great blog and you should check it out!

Happy D-blog week Smile

Sunday Night Giveaway!

Good evening everyone! On Friday I blogged about how excited I was for tonight’s post. The reason being what? I get to do a giveaway Open-mouthed smile

Remember all those time I’ve mentioned…

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..recipes from The Looneyspoons Collection? Janet and Greta are very kindly providing me with a copy of this lovely cookbook to give to one of my readers. So awesome! You may remember when I received this cookbook from Reggie the Easter Bunny? You may also have seen Greta and Janet while watching the Food Network Canada, on their show “Eat, Shrink and be Merry.”

What do I like about The Looneyspoons Collection? I like the variety; from chicken, to baked goods to “once a year indulgences.” When my sister visited, she described how she loved the many pictures in it, and I agree. A cookbook with tempting pictures makes me more motivated to get cookin’, or bakin’, or whichever your fancy.

The cookbook also provides nutritional information (including carbs and fibre), which is a plus for my diabetes friends out there! Another thing that I love is the corny humour scattered throughout the pages. Nothing makes me smile more than a corny joke, except maybe a tasty treat.

*Disclaimer: I have not been paid to endorse this cookbook. I emailed Janet and Greta to describe how much I enjoyed it, and decided to do this post on my own!

I recently made the “Funny Bones Dog Treats” and “Goody Two Chews” recipes from this book.

Cooper is pretty picky about his treats. He doesn’t like regular ol’ milkbones, or any other wholesome-ish doggy treat. He is more of a beggin’ strip kinda’ pup. Guess what though? Cooper LOVES the Funny Bones Dog Treats.

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Clearly, I did not have a bone-shaped cookie-cutter at my disposal.

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So obedient when there is treat potential hmmmm… Sarcastic smile

The Goody Two Chews (see what I mean by cute-corny Winking smile) are almost gone, and I only just made them yesterday! They are pumpkin pie spice flavoured goodness!

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So, you may be wondering how to win this free copy of The Looneyspoons Collection. To get entered into the random draw, please comment on this post describing one of your favourite cookbooks OR a fun adventure you had this weekend.

I’ll leave the responses open until Wednesday night, at which point I will post a winner. Looking forward to reading your comments!

Nighty Night. One more day off for me then back to work!

Blast from the Past

For a quick Saturday night post, I wanted to share something I found while Goggling myself the other day (so vain, I know). It is the first online diabetes related post I ever completed (and I think it may have been with the assistance of my Mom Smile). The post is close to 13 years old.

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Hope you guys can read that small font, but if not just check out the link. I never did post my diagnosis story on this blog, so I guess this is another way of doing it! I actually still remember sitting at the computer while we typed it up. Wow. May I take this moment to state the cliché “it feels like just yesterday.”

10 on the 10th

I found this idea on a blog that I read today (canadiandgal.blogspot.ca), except she (Scully is her name) does “12 of 12s.” What “10 on the 10th” involves is a quick blog post with 10 photos from my day on the 10th of each month. Here we go!

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1. I’m definitely a techy-nerd gal. Proof? I needed all of this for my workout today. The Bose to play music, the iPod to house the music, the iPhone which held the app used to time my interval workout, and the iPad which displayed the workout. Apple fan much? Yup. I did a stability ball workout, that I know my abs will remember in the am.

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2. This is a post-workout shot of myself. Disregard my Rudolph nose. I’ve got a little breakout goin’ on for sure. My shirt is one I ordered online after discovering Grace Potter and The Nocturnals a couple of years ago. Have you listened to their music? You should check it out.

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3. New insulin pump in the house! My new pump arrived around 2:30ish, after which I was able to leave the house and enjoy my freedom again (I had been waiting around for the FedEx guy). He informed me that since he had left a doorknob tag the previous day, I could have signed that and gone out. All he needed was my signature. Glad I know this for future reference!

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4. Leftovers for lunch today. A bowl of chili from last night’s supper. Topped with plain greek yogurt; It really balances out the spiciness of the chili.

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5. Yesterday I saw that the local farm market now has some flowers available to buy. I stopped by today and picked up some pretty orange, red and yellow marigolds. I planted a bunch by our shed today. After walking away for a few minutes I returned to find 3 or 4 plants already pulled up out of the bed. I also found a guilty looking Chester the Tabby Cat near by Disappointed smile

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6. Purdy! I love taking photos of flowers. The colors are so vibrant!

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7. I planted some of the leftover marigolds in some cute pots. I especially love the one with the spout on it.

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8. Reggie biked 20 odd km home from work today (proud of him Smile). So, naturally I wanted to play “Good Wifey-To Be” and make a nice hardy, yummy supper for us. I made Calzones! I used the Kraft Pizza box. For the filling I used the provided sauce (my fave), the provided spices and parm cheese, red peppers, red onion, pepperoni (the real stuff), shredded marble cheese and spinach.

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9. I think they were delish!

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10. Well, I’m doing a bit of foreshadowing with this last shot. These little treats are going to be featured in this upcoming Sunday’s blog post. I’m pretty excited about Sunday’s post because I will be announcing a bit of a surprise! Stay tuned.

HAPPY FRIDAY! Note: I realized after finishing this post that today is not the 10th, but is in fact, the 11th of May.Oops, since I like the sound of “10 on the 10th”I’m sticking with it.

Diabetes: Evoking Emotions much like those of a Romantic Comedy

Disclaimer: This is a longer post, but stick with it! You may understand me a bit better after.

Last week I went to a routine diabetes education appointment. First off, let me say how awesome my CDE (certified diabetes educator) is. I’m ultra hard on myself when it comes to diabetes and Janice always brings me back to reality with some perspective.

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My A1C was 8.3. For those of you who don’t know, that is higher than the recommended range for blood glucose control. As I mentioned before, the A1C is a measure of your blood glucose control over the past 3 months. The Canadian Diabetes Association recommends an A1C less than 7. Honestly, I haven’t been less than 7 since high school. Let me tell you, this is not for any lack of trying.

I find it hard as a health care professional myself to divulge that my A1C is not picture perfect. It’s hard to reveal to anyone who reads this blog that my A1C is not stellar. I’m laying it all out in the open! Janice reiterated the importance in not worrying so much about what others think of me in relation to my diabetes. I’m pretty sure I could use this advice in other aspects of my life, not just in relation to the diabetes.

Our convo went from serious to funny, and back again. Man! a diabetic appointment is a bit like a cheesy romantic comedy; I laughed…..I cried. Honestly, I come close to tears in a lot of my diabetic appointments, but this one was the first that the river flowed freely. I was a bit embarrassed, but couldn’t really help myself. Thank god for Janice though. She calmly reminded me:

  • “Ciara it’s just a number.”
  • “There are so many factors.”
  • “It’s obvious how much effort you put into this.”

Hmmm.. could she be referring to the 10-14 somewhat obsessive blood glucose checks a day Disappointed smile

Janice empathized with my frustration about high and low blood glucose levels after exercise. All I’m trying to do is workout to be healthy and in turn my sugars are out of whack! Ugh. We are trying a few new things and hopefully these will help with my control during workout sessions.

I also declared that maybe I really just don’t eat healthy enough? Maybe I have too many little indulgences here and there? Maybe my carb counting sucks?

She offered up the point that really,as long as I can count the carbs in the food, I can eat it. Technically speaking, I don’t need to be eating any differently than a non-diabetic, but I need to be more careful. Both types of people should be following Canada’s Food guide. Next time you want to ask a diabetic “oh I see your eating ______, are you cheating?” think to yourself “am I following the recommended guidelines myself?”

Janice stated “Ciara, the difference is that your pancreas is on your hip and more difficult to control.” Good point Janice Smile But I still think I could do better Embarrassed smile.

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Exhibit A and B-  A Pancreas located on hip. B Pancreas located within, somewhere around the posterior abdominal wall.

If I wake up at night, I check my sugar. It’s a security thing. If it’s a bit up I treat it. I have had nights where I wake up 3 or 4 times checking and treating. These nights involve little sleep. Again, Janice pointed out the necessity of quality of life: “It’s ok if your sugars are 10 or 9 sometimes at night, you need to sleep too.” She makes many a good point. Reggie also needs to sleep instead of hearing the constant robot beep from my pump!!

This post could go on for a while, but I think I will summarize with some of the things I am taking away from this appointment.

  1. Diabetes IS a disease, there IS a reason why glycemic control is difficult for me compared to people with regular functioning pancreai . Damn you ! Winking smile(not sure about the plural form of pancreas).
  2. I am trying to do better. Maybe too much sometimes.
  3. I am doing a good job.
  4. Quality of life is important too.
  5. Sleep is important. Do it!
  6. Shift work does influence my glycemic control. I don’t want to accept the fact, and I won’t let it stop me. I do need to acknowledge it though.
  7. I will figure out how to exercise and avoid the ups and downs.
  8. I have too many low blood sugars. I don’t worry as much about them as I do my highs. This is bad. Lows can go south a lot faster than a high can take you there.

On positive notes, there is no sign of diabetes related damage to my eyes and kidneys. Although I think my psyche has taken a hit.

It has been 12 years that I have had the ‘betes. It’s difficult to stave off complications forever. I’m going to fight hard against it though. Always.

A Week with My Sister

Jill’s visit has really kept us busy. She usually doesn’t sleep well in beds other than her own, but each night we have both crashed from exhaustion. Here’s a brief rundown of the past few days.

Some bonding with the pooch.

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We bought some supplies to make these cheese/jam/egg mcmuffins. I have days where I just can’t imagine eating eggs. After we scrambled the eggs, I figured out that this day was one of those days and the thought of eating the eggies made me gag. Jill said the jam addition was a tasty idea.

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We went for a walk and the kitty followed us. Can you spot the Chester?

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We had friends over for dinner, which was to happen at 6pm and we only finally decided on, and started, the actual meal around 4:30ish! We had Wakiki meatballs, quinoa and asparagus, with fruit pizza dessert. Again, good job decorating the pizza Jill. Glad I relinquished control to you Winking smile

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Today we picked up Reggie from work and headed to our local sushi spot, Sushi Fang for all you can eat sushi madness.

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We had a mix of Yam Veggie Tempura, Cucumber and Avocado Maki, Spicy Salmon, California Roll, and a Crab roll. We had wonton and miso soup for appys. The meal was finished with strawberry ice cream and deep-fried (nicer word is Tempura) bananas with a honey and sesame seed glaze.

After supper we went for a drive to see the beautiful sights of the Annapolis V alley.

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Soon to come –> A diabetes update post including thoughts on the ol’ A1C, and eye check-ups! Woot!

Jilly comes to town!

Well hello folks.

My sister, Jillian, has made the 5 hour drive to come visit me until Sunday! 5 days, wowzers.

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Jill is the one kissing the trophy.This is after they won playoffs. Actually, in the background you also get somewhat of a view of my Dad and my brother Jake.

Anywho, I’m really excited that she is here.

We met Sidney Crosby at the grocery store!

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We made a quick trip to Sobey’s to get some supper materials. We actually made ANOTHER recipe from The Looneyspoon’s Cookbook, called Penne for your Thoughts. It was truly quite delish. Watch as fun ensues:

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Now we are having wine (homemade and store bought) (and maybe a little too much) and enjoying some chatter. We had a nice Facetime session with my Mom and her man Brian.

Tomorrow I have a diabetic clinic appointment (at which I will find out my A1C). The A1C is a number which shows your blood glucose control over the last 3 months. Then, after the ‘betes appy we will be heading to Harvest to do some registering for the wedding Smile

Your Dose of Saturday Morning Cute

Reggie took this picture yesterday while I was at work. What a crazy kitty. I remember when he was younger and Reggie told me he would be doing stuff like this someday. They grow up so fast.

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It’s small, but can you see Chester there standing on top of the clothesline pole? He seems to think he is a bird.

Off to day shift #2 I go! Going to stop for a coffee first though Smile Yesterday I had four unfortunate coffee mishaps. So, I’m hoping today is more successful:

  • 1 I spilled my first coffee before leaving home
  • 2 I stopped at Designer Cafe and got a coffee (something I don’t usually do, I pretty much always bring coffee from home). I made a mistake and forgot to tell the lady to use sugar free french vanilla. So I ended up giving this coffee away to a co-worker!
  • 3 I made the coffee maker at work implode with steam and the coffee grinds went everywhere.
  • 4 When I tried to use the coffee maker again, there was not enough to make a full pot of coffee
  • 5- I finally bought a coffee from the hospital kiosk and all was well

Wish me good luck with all things coffee this morning!